Nagashi somen is a must-try in the summer! "Menkurando" is like an amusement park for noodles

Nagashi somen is a must-try in the summer! "Menkurando" is like an amusement park for noodlesの画像

At "Kamokawa Hand-pulled Somen Restaurant Menkurado," marked by a large waterwheel, we enjoyed hand-pulled somen noodles made using traditional methods in a nagashi somen style!


This summer, the heat arrived before the rainy season. What you want to eat in the summer is nagashi somen (flowing noodles)! Kamogata-cho, Asakuchi City, Okayama Prefecture, is one of the leading noodle producing areas in Japan, thanks to the delicious water from Mount Yoteru, wheat grown with the high-quality water from the Takahashi River basin, the delicious salt from the Seto Inland Sea, and the warm climate of the sunny land of Okayama.

What is "Kamokawa Hand-Stretched Somen Restaurant Menkurado"?

Kamogatacho, Asakuchi City, Okayama Prefecture, is known as a producer of hand-pulled noodles, thanks to the clean water that springs from the nearby Mount Yosho, the high-quality wheat grown in the Seto Inland Sea basin, and salt produced in the salt fields along the Seto Inland Sea coast.

Kamokawa Hand-pulled Somen Restaurant Menkurado is a noodle-themed facility that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, from children to adults, where you can enjoy a menu using hand-pulled somen noodles, a local specialty, buy souvenirs at the direct sales store, and even enjoy a foot bath at the entrance.

The big waterwheel along the road is the landmark

A large waterwheel spinning along the road catches your eye. The large parking lot is always full at lunchtime. Kamogata has long been an area where noodles have been made, but waterwheels became more widely used in the latter half of the Edo period, and were used to mill wheat grown in the neighborhood. This is a reproduction of that scene, the "Tenobe no Sato Kamote Large Waterwheel."

Nagashi somen noodles at "Menkurado Restaurant"

I ordered the Nagashi somen noodles that I was looking forward to. They started boiling them after I ordered, and the freshly boiled noodles were brought to me in 2-3 minutes. It was quite a large portion! 790 yen seemed quite reasonable in this day and age. Each seat was equipped with Nagashi somen noodles. The seats are relatively spacious, so families and groups can enjoy it.

Nagashi somen starts

When the water starts to flow, the nagashi somen process begins! I wanted to eat the deliciously boiled somen before it got soggy. Since I was filming alone, I used a tripod and a mobile phone remote, pouring the noodles myself from the top, then running along with the flow of the noodles to pick them up just before the colander (lol). After a few times, I got the hang of it and was able to avoid dropping them into the colander.

Pour it yourself from the top!

Freshly boiled somen noodles gradually harden over time. If you pour too much at once, it will get lost in the colander, so you have to loosen a small amount and pour it down the top, then run to catch it just before the colander! It's a busy but fun job.

There's a trick to removing the noodles!

The water flows faster than I expected, and the noodles flow by in an instant. I'm starting to get the hang of picking them up with chopsticks!

The somen soup is also delicious.

The somen noodles were served with somen soup containing spring onions and ginger. Pickled plums are also included if desired.

Catch the flowing somen noodles with a sieve

Even if you miss the flowing somen noodles, don't worry. They are caught in a sieve. I finished off the noodles with somen soup and was full. You can also order tempura or other dishes to your liking.

The direct sales store is like a general noodle specialty store

The direct sales store is like a general noodle specialty store, with a wide variety of noodles. They also have a full range of sauces and seasonings. You can also buy somen noodles as gifts here.

You can also buy the nagashi somen noodles that you ate earlier.

Here is the somen I had earlier. There are many kinds of somen lined up, but the noodles are made a little flat so that they can be easily caught by chopsticks.

"Oni no Kanabou Udon" is popular as a lucky charm

"Oni no Kanabou Udon" is a popular souvenir! It is made of thick and long noodles measuring about 90cm, and is popular as a lucky charm for praying for longevity. It is a product based on a folk tale from Asakuchi City, which resembles an ogre's iron club.

B-class gourmet food of Asakuchi "Bachioko"

I found a product that caught my eye! This is a set that allows you to easily make "Bachioko", a B-class gourmet dish from Asakuchi! "Bachi" refers to the scraps of udon that are generated when making udon, and is a product that truly fits the SDGs.

I tried making "Bachioko" at home.

I bought some "bachioko" and tried making it at home! The scraps of udon called "bachi" are boiled and then put into okonomiyaki with cabbage and grilled. It was chewy and delicious, like okonomiyaki with udon in it! The "bachi" are around the okonomiyaki in the picture.

You can also enjoy a natural hot spring foot bath!

There is a natural hot spring foot bath at the entrance of Menkurado. Anyone can enjoy it for free, but unfortunately it was broken on the day we visited. They plan to reopen it as soon as the parts arrive.

[Kamokawa Hand-Stretched Somen Restaurant Menkurado]

Location: 1981 Kosaka Higashi, Kamogata-cho, Asakuchi-shi, Okayama Prefecture

TEL: 0120-416-868

Opening hours: (Dining) 11:00-15:00, (Direct sales store) 9:00-18:00, (Foot bath) 10:00-16:30, 17:30 on weekends and holidays

Closed: (Restaurant, foot bath) Wednesdays and New Year's Day, (Direct sales store) New Year's Day

Parking: Available

Okayama Tourism WEB | Kamokawa Hand-Stretched Somen Noodles

For dessert, head to the pastry shop across the street.

"Pâtisserie Ciel" is located across the street from the parking lot of "Kamokawa Hand-Stretched Somen Menkurado." After my meal, I naturally wanted to have dessert, so I headed over there.

A store filled with cakes and baked goods

The shop was filled with cakes and baked goods full of fruit and they looked delicious.

Discover "chilled raw monaka" with drumsticks

In the display case, Ciel's original "chilled fresh monaka" caught my eye. The vanilla and red bean flavors contain Kamokawa hand-stretched somen "bachi"! I immediately took some home! (There is no eat-in option inside the store.)

The "drumsticks" have a chewy texture!

When I broke the ice cream monaka with my hands, I heard a "crack" sound. When I ate it, the chewy "bachi" had a strong presence! Azuki ice cream and "bachi" may not seem like a good combination, but they are actually a good combination with an addictive taste. The idea of ​​putting "bachi" in ice cream monaka is innovative and delicious, so I recommend it as a dessert after nagashi somen!

[Patisserie Ciel]

Location: 1980-1 Kosaka Higashi, Kamogata-cho, Asakuchi-shi, Okayama Prefecture

TEL: 0865-44-0304

Business hours: 9:00-19:30 (19:00 on Sundays)

Closed: Mondays

Parking: Available

Patisserie Ciel | Facebook

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